Best Breathable Cooling Sheet Sets 2021 Leave a comment


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We’ve all been there: Settling in to catch some shut-eye, only to spend the next few hours wrestling with hot, stuffy bedding. In a pool of sweat. Unable to sleep. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Besides getting a lighter comforter or quilt, investing in cool, breathable sheets can make a huge difference. The secret is in the material and weave. Percale, made from 100 percent cotton, is crisp and light and perfect for summer. Linen is the most luxe (and expensive) option but is designed to last for years and get softer with each wash. And then there are sheets made from plant-based materials, which are both breathable and eco-friendly. We combed through some of our favorite brands to find the breeziest, yet coziest, cooling sheets on the market right now. And this wasn’t a mere Google search, my friends. We actually tested them ourselves to see which sets can turn those sweaty, sleepless nights into a thing of the past. Here’s what we found.

Plenty of bedding brands tout their products as “cooling,” but what exactly does that mean? If you’re not sure what to look for, you’ll want to pay special attention to the materials, weight, and thread count of the sheets in question.

When shopping for sheets, you’ll notice most brands tout a thread count. All that’s referring to is the measure of how many threads are woven into one square inch of fabric, and it’s meant to give you an idea of quality. Don’t be fooled, though: A higher thread count does NOT mean higher quality. Brands tend to inflate thread count numbers to trick consumers, when in reality there’s not much difference between a 400 and 800 thread count. You’ll want to stay between the 200- and 500-thread count range — anything lower will be susceptible to tearing, and anything higher is suspect.

What We Look For in Cooling Sheets

We tested a wide range of cooling sheets, judging them on the following criteria:

Note: All prices listed are for Queen size.

It could not be denied that My Sheets Rock blew every other competitor out of the water with their temperature-regulating sheets aptly named “The Regulator.” Made from high-grade, sustainably sourced OEKO-TEX-certified bamboo rayon, these sheets boast eight heat-fighting benefits, including breathable construction, moisture-wicking technology, and a lightweight feel that won’t weigh you down. Our commerce writer Sarah attests that they’re not only the softest pair of sheets she’s ever encountered, but they’ve also allowed her to sleep sweat-free at last. “These sheets seem to combine the positive traits of two other beloved textiles: the smoothness of silk (sans the slip) and the lightweight, classic design of cotton,” she says. “Not only did I sleep soundly and comfortably, but I also woke up sweat-free and without a hair out of place.”

Honorable mention: Our projects editor, Megan, tested the Slumber Cloud Essential Sheet Set, which had undeniable quality in terms of cooling power. “The sheets were noticeably cool to the touch when I climbed into bed each evening, ” she says, “and in the morning, I wasn’t desperate to get out from under them, as can sometimes be the case with heavy bedding.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to sleep on the coolest sheets possible; those who love a silkier feel to their sheets.

Good to Know: Right now, a few of the colors are sold out in Queen size, including navy, stone, white, and burgundy. However, you can sign up to catch updates on the restock.

Let’s face it: Good cooling sheets tend to be on the expensive side. And while we ordinarily wouldn’t call a $115 sheet set cheap, the Gravity bamboo sheet set sits at an excellent price point considering its top-notch quality. Made of a special blend of bamboo and cotton, these sheets are incredibly soft, cool to the touch, and have moisture-wicking properties that help keep you comfortable in warmer sleeping conditions. With an impressive 300 thread count and a choice of four handsome colors, you get tons of bang for your buck. Our news & culture director, Tara, noticed these sheets were immediately soft out of the packaging, and in her experience, they just kept getting better. “The entire fitted sheet has elastic around the edges, and it’s a generous size to fit even the thickest mattress,” she says. “I tested them during a heatwave, and they were a good balance of breathable yet cozy.” If that isn’t convincing enough, Gravity provides free shipping on all domestic orders, which is even sweeter on your pockets.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a quality cooling set of sheets without spending $150+.

Good to Know: The deep-pocket fitted sheet fits mattresses 12 inches or higher, with elastic corner bands that prevent shifting or pulling.

The Delilah Home organic hemp bed sheets truly are luxurious — both in price tag and feel. These unbelievably soft sheets are made from 100 percent organic hemp, which delivers an unparalleled experience in sleep and relaxation. With a 180 GSM thread count, they’re thicker than other sheets that are probably sitting in your linen closet, yet somehow manage to be ultra cooling. Our commerce intern Grace gave the sheets a whirl and has never slept better. “These sheets are amazingly breathable, despite how thick and durable they feel,” she says. “They’re the best of both worlds if you’re looking for something that’s cooling but not so light that you get cold. I ended up loving the texture and feel of the sheets, and they really did help me get a deeper sleep.” It’s also worth noting that Delilah Home organic hemp sheets are made in a family-run factory in Portugal, which uses the best quality materials, machinery, and higher than Fair Trade wages.

Who It’s Best For:  Those who want a cooling pair of sheets with a good amount of weight to them.

Good to Know: Though this is certainly a luxury buy, Delilah Home’s organic hemp sheets are almost always on sale for half off.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Brooklinen’s classic percale sheets are a hot sleeper’s dream. They’re light, breathable, crisp, and simply divine. Made from long-staple cotton with a percale weave, these sheets mimic that hotel-style sleep experience I typically only get when vacationing somewhere fancy. Not only do they totally live up to the hype, but they’re also one of the coolest sheets you can sleep on during the steamy summer months. With a 270 thread count, they’re light and completely breathable, no matter how hot you sleep. And while the sheets were already soft to the touch after I first washed them, they’ve only gotten better with each wash, developing a sort of lived-in quality that makes me want to lounge in them all day. I also give Brooklinen bonus points for the “long side” and “short side” labels on the fitted sheet that help take the guesswork out of making my bed. Hooray for convenience!

Who It’s Best For: Hot sleepers; those who love classic white/hotel-style bedding.

Good to Know: The brand’s limited edition colors are pretty much all sold out (you can always expect them to go quickly), but you still have six other cool neutral tones to choose from. It’s also worth noting that King/California King sets come with King-sized pillowcases (!!!).

For the second year in a row, we’re giving the best linen category to The Citizenry’s Stonewashed Linen Sheet Set. The French linen sheets are breathable, durable, and create that perfectly imperfect look that makes you want to stay in bed. While many linen sheets typically feel a bit rough at first and get softer over time, these sheets feel supremely soft right away, yet they’re still weighty enough for us to feel confident in their quality. Our editor Sholeen tested them and not only loved the cooling factor, but also how the material effortlessly cradled her to sleep. “These sheets feel like I’m sleeping on a soft, breathable linen shirt that only gets better with every wash,” she says. “Linen sheets are notorious for feeling rough and scratchy, but I’m happy to report that The Citizenry’s set delivers the true luxe linen feel.” We also can’t help but notice the stunning color options this brand offers, like camel, sage, and olive.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something ultra soft; those who like linen but not the initial “scratchiness.”

Good to Know: The company works directly with artisans around the globe to source handmade, high-quality goods and ensure fair treatment and wages for all.

Bamboo is a material found in the lion’s share of cooling sheets, but not every brand has mastered its use quite like Ettitude. Their twill weave sheets are the perfect marriage of quality fabric and expert construction. The 100 percent organic bamboo fiber is woven in parallel lines for a plush weight and heavier drape, resulting in sheets that feel cool and silky smooth. Our commerce editor Amy is based in Puerto Rico and no stranger to sleeping during scorching-hot nights. Ettitude’s twill weave sheets met the mark for her. “You know that wonderful feeling of getting into a bed with crisp, just-washed sheets? These feel like that every single night,” she says. “They really do keep me cool, and I can wrap myself up in them all cozy-like and not get the least bit overheated. They are soft to the touch in the best possible way but also feel incredibly well made and durable.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who like a silky feel; those who want something eco-friendly but not wildly expensive.

Good to Know: Ettitude uses bamboo that’s grown in FSC-certified forests.

Similar in feel to bamboo lyocell sheets, eucalyptus bedding comes from eucalyptus trees (obviously!). Eucalyptus is a renewable resource and, if done right, makes an ideal cooling sheet material. Sweave came out on top with their eucalyptus core sheet set, which can’t be beat when it comes to breathability. Made from a mix of eucalyptus Tencel lyocell and Egyptian cotton material, these single-ply percale weave sheets are super airy, durable, and moisture wicking. They also have a crisp matte finish that adds style and flair to your bed. Some eucalyptus bedding can be slippery, shiny, and not very breathable — but not these bad boys! Our projects editor, Megan, says that for the price, they definitely punch above their weight in quality. “The rate at which I woke up during the night to kick off the covers definitely declined as compared to nights with cotton sheets,” she says. “Both the flat and fitted sheets feel soft and not at all stifling; they’re smooth but not stiff, like cotton percale can be.”

Honorable mention: Buffy’s Eucalyptus Sheets are also impressive and heavenly soft, according to our commerce director, Mark, who loved how the texture improved after the first wash. “I’m someone who needs some kind of cover in order to fall sleep in the summer, and these sheets do the trick,” he says. “They are thin and breathable, yet feel like they have just enough heft to them.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to try lyocell sheets without any risk; those who want something eco-friendly at a good price point.

Good to Know: This set is available with or without a flat sheet.

If you just can’t quit cotton but are committed to sustainability, there are plenty of quality organic cooling sheet options on the market. We recommend Boll & Branch’s percale sheets, which feel downright incredible and meet some of the most rigorous certifications out there. They feel cool to the touch and seriously soft, yet aren’t “crunchy” like other crisp sheets tend to be. They have a matte finish and are only available in three classic colors, so you get a little less variation than you do with other brands. Our social media strategist Brian was wowed by these sheets from the very start. “The sheets are smooth to the touch and you can feel the luxury right out of the box,” he says. “After sleeping on the sheets for a while, I was pleasantly surprised by the breathability and how cool they felt during the hot summer nights of New York City.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who want organic cotton.

Good to Know: All of Boll & Branch’s products are made without pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs, and are manufactured in Fair Trade factories that treat workers ethically.

If white sheets just aren’t your thing, head on over to Sheets & Giggles to pick up one of their gloriously cooling and beautifully hued lyocell sheet sets. Soft, breathable, moisture wicking, and hypoallergenic, these sheets are basically the whole package. You’ll find a variety of inspiring colors — we’re talking lavender, mint green, and sage — and you can get these sheets in pretty much any size, including the notoriously hard-to-find Twin XL. Our assistant home editor, Savannah, tested this set, and she’s never looked back since. “My boyfriend gets so hot at night that he sweats, so we sleep with the AC on and an oscillating fan,” she says. “These sheets keep us cozy and cool, so there’s no more night sweats, and that’s honestly all that I can ask for. I’ll be buying another set for our guest room!”

We also love that Sheets & Giggles specifically uses trees that are grown on biodiverse, sustainably managed farms. Less water is used during the manufacturing process, and there’s hardly any waste. Plus, for every tree harvested, Sheets & Giggles plants two more.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to try lyocell sheets without any risk; those who want something eco-friendly at a good price point.

Good to Know: There are discounts for military, first responders, medical workers, teachers, and students.

Nicole Lund

Commerce Editor

Nicole writes about shopping and products for Apartment Therapy, but her specialities are candles, bedding, bath, and pretty much anything homebody-friendly. She has been writing for AT for three years.





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